Live Life Farm

Enjoying the simple things everyday

Category: RVing

Indian Valley Campground

After our Spring break adventures, we thought we would wait until a bit later in May to venture out in the Williams Wagon. Spring break proved to be cold and wet and we had hoped for a little better weather. That idea came to a screaming halt and the weather was worse than expected! COLD and it even snowed! The great news is that we ventured to a place that had an indoor pool and we could escape the cold for awhile.

Below you can see us enjoying a few hours of warmth on arrival day. After that, it was winter coats again.

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Indian Valley is a nice campground located in Middleville, Michigan. Many of the locals like to stay here for the seasonal sites. The campground sites on the Thornapple river and boasts loads of fish for those who love fishing. The river sites are really nice, but only one can accommodate a 34-foot rig. Even if you are not able to secure a river front they also rent canoes and kayaks. Additionally, they have a nice little pond by the playground to fish at.

The people that own Indian Valley are really friendly and helpful. They even escorted us to our campsite. Some of the amenities we experienced were probably because the weather scared many away. It was a particularly nasty May weekend for camping. Pouring rain Friday night, cold, rainy and snowy on Saturday and even more snow on Sunday. Not enough snow to stick but enough to make you want to bundle up by a fire or stay inside….or even better, hit the indoor pool.

Below are a bulleted list of the pros and cons. We felt a more positive experience but the campground was virtually empty. I think with more of the seasonals around there would be more negative experiences because the sites are a bit more packed together than you would find at many state campgrounds.

Pros

  • Really nice by the river with lots of nature to observe
  • Well stocked camp store and friendly, helpful owners
  • Indoor pool for those rainy (or snowy) days
  • Lots of fishing to experience
  • Laundromat available right onsite
  • Fishing and swimming pond next to the playground was a lot of fun
  • The grounds are well taken care of and firepits were emptied prior to arrival.
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Canoe, paddleboat, and kayak rental available on site. You can also rent tubes to float down the river.

Cons

  • Could be loud and busy when full. The seasonal guests seem to have campfires together and it’s not as tranquil as state campgrounds. However, everyone was really friendly and inviting. This may not be a con to anyone else. We tend to be camping introverts.
  • The changing rooms by the pool were COLD. I am not sure they were heated and it was an extremely cold weekend. Most likely, no one else will experience this.
  • Sites are close  together.

 

Below is the site we booked (site 5). It was a really nice site as it was previously a seasonal lot.

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Fishing from the site was a lot of fun! We even had our own dock. The dock made me a bit nervous because the river is deep and was REALLY running fast. We put up a rope so the kids would not get too close and made sure we were really close when they were fishing.

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Mia and Lucas enjoyed the views. Across the river, we saw a beaver swimming. I thought it was a muskrat at first but the tail was very visible and it was clearly a beaver!

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Caleb loved fishing.

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Lucas perfects putting a worm on his hook.

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They even liked fishing on shore by our campsite.

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Tiller and Rhummy pouted about the lack of swimming. We really thought the current was too strong. Tiller (the black lab) was most mad and wanted to swim. He’s 13 now and can’t endure the freezing water or fast current.

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We walked to the fishing pond and playground many times! We really liked looking at how everyone landscaped and decorated their own sites.

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The overall view of the playground, swimming pond, and fishing pond. It was the perfect place for all of our kids! Some wanted to fish and some wanted to play.

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Mia and Caleb tried the teeter-totter….but Caleb is bigger and had the upper hand. It made Mia mad.

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Mia loves the horse swings there! She had fun for hours. You can see how much rain we got by the puddles in the background. Some of the areas in the playground were a bit low and rain can be a problem.

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Caleb caught the only fish this weekend. We think even the fish were scared of the cold!

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Later that night we went back and had dinner and, of course, smores! The kids love cooking marshmallows over the fire.

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And eating them!

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We all enjoy “spooky/silly” stories around the campfire before bed.

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Sunday was so cold that we fished until the pool was open at 10. Then it was off to the pool.

 

Just watch out for the “bad biker gang” on the way to the pool!

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The pool was a nice size. It was empty this weekend because the campground was empty. I’m not sure how busy it normally gets. The bonus is that it was inside and perfect for our gang. I swam some laps and played with the kids.

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And the boys loved to just jump in!

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On the way back to the RV we saw a few families of geese.

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Then it was back to the RV to pouting pooches who wanted to swim themselves!

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We really loved hanging out here and hope to come back! It was a nice place to unwind, listen to the birds, and relax at the pool.

Spring camping in Lexington, Kentucky | Lexington

Who doesn’t love rolling green fields, beautiful horses, and gorgeous landscapes? Lexington, Kentucky has so much to offer in its artistic displays. This is our second time visiting and I am ever in awe!

All that said, I have never been so glad to have an RV until our trip to Lexington. It was a COLD blustery trip, even by Michigan standards (nevermind everyone in Lexington was talking about the Michigan snow!) We still had a great time and love the Kentucky Horse Park campsites. We stayed in campsite 11 and had a nice field behind our motorhome. Also, we enjoyed hearing horses behind us. If you love horses, this is the venue for you! An added bonus was Keeneland Spring Meet was going on!

 

Site 11 was a nice site. Even though every site is paved you will want to be SURE to call or be prepared for an unlevel site. We saw many tires off the ground which is not great for the jack system of an RV or trailer. You always want some weight on your tires. We did call and found this to be a nice, flat site. Added bonus was a nice little field in back for the dogs and playing soccer! The campground was clean and quiet with a nice camp store.  Security was very good and people were friendly and helpful. We were there when it wasn’t busy but they did have 4 areas to pump out and we never had to wait. The downsides include that the paths to the inner ring of the campground have no cut thru’s. You need a bike or golf car to get to the store, playground, and bath houses quickly.  Also, wood was $6 for a small bundle that did not burn well. Head to the Shell station and connected liquor store to get better firewood for $1 less.

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Kentucky Horse Park site 11

We arrived on Tuesday of Spring break and the campground was empty and trees in full bloom! All of the kids loved collecting pine cones and sticks for fires that we rarely enjoyed, it was just too cold and windy…..but half of the adventure is exploring. By Friday, these sites were nearly full.

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The campground had 2 very nice playgrounds that the kids loved to play on!

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The firepits were not as nice as the concrete fire rings at the Michigan State campgrounds. In fact, don’t count on the grill working. It was rusted solid! Luckily, we like using our tripod anyways!

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Cooking Hobie pies for lunch

Tiller thought he might enjoy one of our steaks!

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Steak time!

The absolute highlight was the ability to ride bikes from the campground into the actual Horse Park! Unfortunately, the campground folks told us we could take bikes anywhere in the park which is NOT true! Do not count on the campground folks to have knowledge of the actual Park itself.  You cannot ride bikes into the park, only in the Rolex area and showgrounds. Nonetheless, the stadium was totally empty and the boys had a blast riding in the stadium. The campground is located next to (and connected to) the Rolex cross country course. We loved looking at the course while riding bikes!

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Rolex Stadium jumping (Mounted games held this weekend)

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Rolex stadium

At the Rolex Stadium we enjoyed watching the Mounted games (pony division). Such a neat event and fun group of people!

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Dropping a cup in the bucket.

Pole-bending relay

Just down the road, via bike, we enjoyed the Spring Bay Horse trials. Cross country is off site, but the dressage and show jumping was right down the road from our campsite.

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Too many events to mention for the horse-minded. Spring Meet at Keeneland was a great time. Although we missed a few races due to rain, we loved the 3 races we were able to enjoy. The weather deters many from attending outside. To me, the rail is the only place to be! It was $10 for all 5 of us to attend (outside of the “Keeneland Breeze” and sodas we enjoyed). You can spend a lot more to wine and dine, but the thrill of the rail is very impressive. It’s also amazing to view the horses in the paddock prior to the races.

 

A close finish

Closing in

 

Mia and I are excited for the races to start!

Mia and I are excited for the races to start!

The amazement continues in Lexington! No trip is complete without taking a leisurely drive on the amazing scenic byway, “Old Frankfort Pike.” The views go on for miles and I have so many pictures of amazing farms. Below are just two of my favorite!

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If you love history and arboretums , I highly recommend heading to the “Lexington National Cemetary.” We love both, but also Geocaching. So we took some hints and tried to find a cache at the Henry Clay monument.  None was found, however, it was a great place to explore….and amazing in the spring.

As far as camping trips go, there was not much camping. We did more sight-seeing. And thanks to a friend, we were also able to enjoy seeing a beautiful farm in Kentucky. The 5 barns on-site were nicer than my home! The drive inside the farm was noteworthy, they must have miles of paved roads on just one farm. I was awestruck! This is just a piece of our trip that we enjoyed. Of course, no trip with children is without some mishap. Mia managed to come down with another cold and Mom forgot her nebulizer. So we had to make a few late night trips to get her meds (and another nebulizer that now resides in our RV, never to be forgotten). Overall, weather and illness could not deter the fun and beauty that is enjoyed in Lexington. We will be back for another spring adventure!

Time to bring out the RV | RV

I think we all have spring fever here as it is Spring break. I will say that nothing about this Spring break feels like Spring. We were blessed with a few inches of snow here in Michigan. Nevertheless, we are going to venture out and enjoy some time together as a family.

One of my favorite things to do is pack and prepare. It sounds odd but we really do like to get ready for an adventure. There is a lot to do before we head out, though. This particular “de-winterizing” proved to be no different as we found some roof seal failures to immediately fixed. Fixing a leak is important to protect your investment, preventing leaks is the MOST vital. We do love a product called “Dicor” that we use twice a year to protect leaks. Basically, you inspect the roof and add “Dicor” where you find any cracks. It’s self-leveling and can be used only when dry but at a variety of temperatures.

Damp rid is another product we love because it keep humidity down in the RV. We hang some in our closets and put the tubs around living spaces.



We also have a variety of checklists we use included to be sure our RV is in working order and ready to travel. Other things pop up as we go but below is a good start.

  • Check tire pressure
  • Install batteries
  • Dicor roof
  • Is the heat operational
  • Plug in fridge to be sure it is working well
  • Check necessary supplies
  • Check all compartments for leaks or evidence of mice
  • Start generator
  • Make beds
  • Change engine oil
  • Check antennas
  • Toss out Damp Rid containers

Then it’s time to pack up and hit the road! Many things I store inside for the winter such as liquids, glow sticks, medicine, food, etc. I also store sheets and blankets inside. Other than that we keep everything in our motorhome and make sure we set mouse traps. We also use Bounce sheets in cabinets to deter mice in the winter.

Is anyone else ready for camping season?

 

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